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article imageNoam Chomsky: Obama has 'no moral center'

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By JohnThomas Didymus     Jan 15, 2013 in Politics
Al Jazeera posted a video to YouTube on Saturday that features the radical leftist MIT professor Noam Chomsky, criticizing Obama's drone campaign against "suspected terrorists," saying he agrees with the verdict that Obama has "no moral center."
In the interview, Chomsky said that a black activist once told a story about a group of African American women who visited Obama in The White House soon after his inauguration in 2009. According to the black activist, the women came out of the meeting disappointed, their verdict: "This man has no moral center."
According to CNS News, in the interview on Saturday, January 12, with Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan, Chomsky asked: "Does President Barack Obama have a moral compass? And if he does, is he ignoring it at his own peril, at the country’s peril?”
Chomsky said, “It’s an interesting question. During the last election, I happened to be talking to a well-known black activist very much involved in civil rights and other activism, and he told me a story. He said that after Obama’s first election in 2008, he was visited by a group of African American women leading activists who wanted to talk to him. He said he was there when they came out of the meeting and asked them what he was like.
"And their answer was this man has no moral center. That’s their reaction and I think they’re right. If you look at his policies, I think that’s what they reveal.
"There’s some nice rhetoric here and there but you look at the actual policies, they’re pretty shocking. The drone assassination campaign’s a perfectly good example. It’s just a global assassination campaign."
Probably the most contentious aspect of the Obama administration's foreign policy is its drone campaign against "suspected terrorists" in Pakistan and Yemen. Many who should know say the campaign in which civilians have been killed violates international law.
The Iranian Press TV reports that the Obama administration has carried out an intense campaign in Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan, targeting "suspected militants." According to the website: "In Pakistan, U.S. drone strikes have killed more than 2,800 civilians since 2004, according to Pakistani sources. In Afghanistan, the U.S. has carried out more drone strikes in 2012 than it has during its eight-year-long air war in Pakistan, launching nearly 450 strikes and killing thousands while also reducing its air surveillance, according to RT.
"Figures compiled by a Washington think tank show a drastic increase in the number of secret U.S. drone attacks in Yemen. Based on its compilation of reports in international media, the New America Foundation reported that U.S. drone strikes in Yemen rose from 18 in 2011 to 53 in 2012....
"According to Stanford/NYU report, "The number of 'high-level' militants killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low -- estimated at just 2% [of deaths]."
Chomsky also suggests that the Obama administration's policy with regard to Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory betrays duplicity. He points out that while the administration has opposed the Israeli government's settlement policy in Palestine in words, it had not done anything concrete to back it up. He said: “In fact, Obama is actually the first president who hasn't really imposed restrictions on Israel."
An analyst writing in The New York Times, also made similar observations about the Obama administration's handling of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, saying the administration's rhetorical bark in its criticism of Israeli settlement policy in Palestine has been far worse than its bite. Some analysts say that Israeli officials, having observed, repeatedly, that the administration never backs up its seeming opposition to contentious Israeli policies in Palestine have learned to ignore the administration's supposed pro-Palestinian stance.
Haim Saban writes in the opinion piece in The New York Times:
"When the first President Bush had disagreements with Israel over its settlement policy, he threatened to withhold loan guarantees from Israel. Mr. Obama has had his own disagreements with Mr. Netanyahu over the settlers but has never taken such a step. To the contrary, he has increased aid to Israel and given it access to the most advanced military equipment, including the latest fighter aircraft.
"Ask any senior Israeli official involved in national security, and he will tell you that the strategic relationship between the United States and Israel has never been stronger than under President Obama. 'I can hardly remember a better period of American support and backing, and Israeli cooperation and similar strategic understanding of events around us,' the defense minister, Ehud Barak, said last year, 'than what we have right now.'"
Some analysts believe that the Obama administration's policy is informed by its awareness of the political backlash it may suffer if it is seen as anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian. Some have even suggested, incredibly, that Obama's drone campaign is part of an effort to prove to his right-wing detractors and conspiracy theorists that he is a not as they claim, a pro-Muslim president sympathetic to the cause of international Jihadism.
According to CNS News, Noam Chomsky, has been a professor of Linguistics (Emeritus) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 1955.
He has described himself as “anarcho-syndacalist." That means that he "calls for the organization of workers to combat the anti-working class interests of the State."
MSN Now reports that Chomsky's comment has sparked a debate on Twitter with some saying the professor is an idealistic egghead. However, someone retorted: "He's just now finding this out!?"
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